Florida GOP suffers ‘significant setback’ as $5 million fundraiser cancelled over ‘infighting’ and ‘turmoil’: report
Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) (Photo: Screen capture)

Chaos in the Republican Party of Florida has resulted in the indefinite postponement of the group's largest fundraiser.


On Monday morning, Politico's Florida Playbook reported on the disarray among Florida Republicans.

"Newly hired Republican Party of Florida executive director Peter O’Rourke was hammered after investigators found rampant abuses in the Department of Veterans Affairs whistleblower office he previously ran. You can read more about that below, but let's look ahead to what it could mean for the party at large," Politico reported. "The bombshell caught nearly every state party official who will talk about it (looking at you Gov. Ron DeSantis and RPOF Chairman Joe Gruters) off guard, and has set the grassroots ablaze."

Politico then reported on "one of the worst kept secrets" in Tallahassee.

"The bombshell put one of the worst kept secrets in Florida politics into public view: planning for the Statesman’s Dinner is not going well. Only county Republican Executive Committees have so far purchased tables (no corporate or other sales yet), there is no keynote (President Donald Trump isn’t coming), and the $5 million DeSantis promised to raise for the event has not yet come through," Politico reported.

The website also explained how they learned of the news.

"Why do we know this? The firing of former executive director Jennifer Locetta, a known entity who people liked, and the hiring of O’Rourke, who no one in the party knows or trusts yet, has angered many party officials. The lesson? Angry party officials are talkative party officials," Politico reported.

Not long after the report was published, the Florida Republican Party announced the dinner was being postponed.

"The postponement is a significant setback to the state Republican Party and potentially President Donald Trump, who will need to win Florida to secure his reelection in 2020. The annual dinner, which last year netted the party $500,000, is as much a pep rally as it is a fundraiser, serving to gin up excitement in a state where elections are decided on slim margins and voter turnout is critical. The snafu adds to the woes of a party already gripped by infighting over its leadership," Politico reported. "It’s another blow to a party that has been in turmoil in recent weeks."